President Donald Trump received a warm greeting from the justices of the Supreme Court after his Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress.
The evening’s address was the first time the president met with the justices, if only for a moment. Traditionally, the incoming president visits the Supreme Court on the morning of the inauguration. Trump was precluded from coming to the Court on the day of his inauguration because of an unspecified scheduling conflict.
The president and Justice Anthony Kennedy shared a brief moment discussing their children, who appear to be friendly with one another.
“Say hello to your boy, he’s a special guy,” Trump told Kennedy.
“Your kids have been very nice to him,” Kennedy responded. Trump’s daughter Ivanka recently visited the Supreme Court at Kennedy’s invitation, after they met at a luncheon shortly after her father’s inauguration. She was seated in a front row section reserved for guests of the justices, where she watched an hour long argument about the Federal Arbitration Act and state contract laws.
The president then turned to Chief Justice John Roberts.
“He did a good swearing in,” Trump said. “We’ve got a good guy.”
The president also greeted and exchanged pleasantries with Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Samuel Alito did not attend the address. Thomas and Alito have sporadically attended such events over the years, and publicly expressed discomfort with participating in political events. Ginsburg abruptly stopped attending the address this year. She sat for all of President Barack Obama’s remarks before Congress.
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